Twice in the last week I’ve been faced head on with a client wanting to change fundamental design characteristics that speak more than simply being an element in the project.
I’m talking font changes, and I’m talking layout properties.
Elements of Design
When it comes down to it, there are four elements that I identify with that have major influence on how a design is perceived.
- font (typeface)
Sure, a font is just a font. But it also talks about the product. It can say ‘this product is home made by a quirky yet kind hearted person’, ‘this firm has clean edges, expected to be sharply dressed, and has modern ideas’, and it can say ‘this organization has old world elegance and sophistication’. Beware, it can also say ‘this is a lone entrepreneur who spends little time concerned with packaging and image’, or ‘I spent 3 minutes on a logo because it doesn’t mean anything and I don’t care’.
Layout is balance. Each designer has a different way of seeing that balance, and I believe this should be what an organization looks for in a designer when trying to find the right one (or company) to help brand themselves.
Science has told us that humans react to different colors differently. A recent Pinterest study identified that colors with more red/orange hues will get repinned multiple times more than one with a blue tinge. Remember mood rings? There really is substantial evidence that different colors can evoke different moods from the viewer. Be aware.
Symbolism should be obvious.
You’re a law firm? Scales?
You’re a hockey team? Hockey sticks?
You’re a lumber mill? Logs?
And the Client
As a creative, we consider all of these and are pursued because we understand all of these in our own way. This is what makes us a unique creative, a unique artist.
However, the client always has an opinion because it’s their product, they have to live with it and it’s setting their companies mindset. Further, they are the one flashing around the money.
And they should have an interest in the design. They should get excited about it! This is a designers dream.
Dancing with the client requires elegance and acute awareness; one must always be aware of their responses given to a client who’s expressed their desires.
For example, if a client asks me to change the dark lime green to a neon purple, how do I react? “I chose the dark lime green because I feel it represents the growth and maturity of earths forest. A mixture of earthy tones of maturity and the steadfastness of a coniferous. Life and growth is represented by green. I feel that a neon purple makes me think of Las Vegas lights on the strip and of a very showy and feminine fundraising campaign. How does it make you feel? And is this what you want to feel about your company?”
We all react differently. But, I advise you to not ignore the clients desires. Address their wants and thoughts and work through them intensely and passionately.
The Golden Rule
For the sake of your credit as a designer (and for the love of god), never start sulking and half ass the product. NEVER.
This is your design, this is your pride, this is your portfolio. Make it bloody awesome. And make the client also feel it’s bloody awesome.